Samurai Spirit Misunderstood By The World – Part 2

廃墟の中の鳥居

I remember a TV program, in which a Japanese war veteran was interviewed who joined Kamikaze corps at the end of the World War Ⅱ and miraculously survived it.

  • war veteran 退役軍人
  • Kamikaze corps 神風特攻隊
  • survive 生き残る

The front of airplanes is the smallest in the whole body. So when a zero fighter airplane tries to make a suicidal attack on an American battleship concentrating fire upon the airplane, it has to fly in the direction of the battleship at the same angle as shells aiming at it. Otherwise the possibility of being shot would be increased. He said that unless the airplane assaults the battleship in such a way that it rushes at the shells, the chance of being shot down increases and that if he had tried to escape or run away from the shells at all, he would have been shot down because of the widened area to be shot.

  • suicidal 自殺的な
  • attack 攻撃
  • battleship 戦艦
  • angle 角度
  • shell 砲弾
  • otherwise さもないと
  • unless S+V SがVしない限り
  • escape 逃れる

And he said that when he was flying into the enemy ship in the face of shells aiming at him, the word he was shouting was “Moooom!” and that the other deceased fighters would have said the same thing. As Susano(スサノオ)cried so hard as heaven and earth rumbled in search of his mother who left for Yominokuni(黄泉の国), human beings cry for their mothers instinctively in the face of death.

  • deceased 亡くなった
  • in search of A  Aを探し求めて
  • instinctively 本能的に

In the TV program, an eight-millimeter film was showing a situation that Kamikaze fighters were exchanging cups of sake with each other before they fly their last flight. They were smiling silently with no grave look on their faces. They just looked like true samurais. Both soldiers and samurais didn’t kill people because they liked to do it. In the war years, they had no choice but to live such lives. In the modern affluent society where people enjoy freedom, on the other hand, more people commit suicide every year than kamikaze fighters.

  • situation 状況
  • silently 静かに
  • grave 深刻な
  • have no choice but to~ 〜せざるをえない
  • affluent 豊かな
  • commit suicide 自殺する

The word “Moooom” the kamikaze fighter cried at the last moment reveals that what had supported Kamikaze fighters who acted bravely like fierce gods was the love that they wanted to protect their families and the gratitude for them. I feel that what lies behind samurai spirit is the courage to think about things from the point of view of life and death in order to keep others and themselves alive.

  • bravely 勇敢に
  • fierce god 鬼神
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • courage 勇気
  • in terms of A Aの観点から
  • alive 生きている

In the perspective of life and death, most troubles in everyday lives are trifle things and will disappear in time and so will obsession with things. This perspective would make you notice little things to be thankful for hidden in your everyday lives.

  • perspective 観点
  • disappear 消える
  • obsession 執着
  • realize 気がつく
  • hide 隠す

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I KA SHI TE I TA DA I TE    A RI GA TO U GO ZA I MA SU

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

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